20 October 2018
The days in yellow mark Chief Executive CY Leung's time off this year. Photo: HKEJ
The days in yellow mark Chief Executive CY Leung's time off this year. Photo: HKEJ

The Case of the Holidaying Chief Executive

Where in the world is Chief Executive CY Leung? Leung will be on personal leave from Tuesday until Friday but his office insists it cannot say where the city’s top official will be, am730 reported Tuesday. 

It’s Leung’s second leave of absence in the space of a month and comes after 720,000 people voted in a mock referendum on political reform and as the city grapples with controversial development plans in the northeastern New Territories.

Some sources said the central government might have asked Leung, whose public confidence is consistently low, to stay out of the spotlight to prevent further public provocation during this sensitive time.

Leung, who will have notched up two years as chief executive at the end of this month, has taken a total of 64 leave days in eight breaks during his term, more than his two predecessors. The 64 days include public holidays. 

The Office of the Chief Executive said the chief executive is entitled to 22 days of paid leave each year, while Leung has has taken a combined 30.5 days since he took office two years ago.

Former civil service secretary Joseph Wong said Leung’s office should be able to reveal basic information like the chief executive’s destination. Not disclosing the nature of the break only adds mystery to the issue, he said.

Wong called on Leung to explain his absence to dispel speculation that he might be on a secret central government mission, the report said.

Legislator Claudia Mo criticized Leung for a lack of productivity, saying former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa worked from 9am to 11pm every day, while Leung seems to assume that announcements equate to accomplishments.

Mo said Leung is an “offshore” chief executive, meaning he’s not on deck in Hong Kong all the times, according to a Tuesday report by Metro Daily Hong Kong.

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